AMD unveils Opteron

AMD has entered the 64-bit computing market with its Opteron processor. Designed to deliver full compatibility with existing x86 solutions, the vendor believes its chipset protects customers’ existing investments.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  April 22, 2003

AMD has entered the 64-bit computing market with the introduction of its Opteron processor. Designed to deliver full compatibility with existing x86 architecture solutions, the vendor believes its chipset protects customers’ existing investments by allowing them to run 32-bit software on the 64-bit platform.

“The AMD Opteron processor is the world’s first processor to eliminate barriers to 64-bit computing and accelerate the transition to a pervasive 64-bit environment,” says Hector Ruiz, president & CEO of AMD.

“Starting today, businesses of all sizes can leverage their substantial 32-bit investments as they migrate seamlessly – when and how they choose – to the superior processing power of 64-bit computing. The AMD Opteron processor gives customers the freedom to choose and use both, for the first time, to simplify business and build a future that leaves no enterprise behind,” he adds.

In addition to being highly compatible, AMD believes Opteron is streets ahead of its competition in terms of performance when run in either 2-way or 4-way servers. Key to this claim is the vendor’s high-bandwidth integrated memory controller, which scales with processor frequency and the number of processors used in the server.

“Since we have integrated the memory controller into the processor die, every time a user adds a single processor to a system they are also adding a new memory controller. This means data does not have to go through the north bridge to access the memory and, as such, bandwidth goes up rather than down,” explains Ulrich Knechtel, European server & workstation product manager, AMD. “This means improved performance and increased scalability,” he adds.

Due to its ability to run applications built for the 32-bit environment, users of such apps will be AMD’s initial target market. “The biggest market we see today [for Opteron] is the 32-bit market. By selling Opteron processors in the 32-bit server space we open up the window for the customer to step up to 64-bit computing with the same environment,” comments Knechtel.

“Our main customers will also be large enterprises, as well as small and medium businesses, that have various applications that need a large memory configuration and high computing power,” adds Pierre Brunswick, regional sales manager for AMD in Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa.

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